While there have been no immediate reports of scammers or shady fly-by-night contractors yet in the wake of a storm that pelted the Cheyenne area with hail and heavy rain on Tuesday, based on the history of such storms, it will probably happen.

Shady operators have typically descended on the city following significant storms, often going door-to-door offering low rates for supposed repair jobs.

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Following a severe hailstorm in 2018, then Cheyenne-Mayor Marian Orr warned people about "snakes" who follow major storms and promise to do roofing or other repair work. But either the work never gets done or it is of extremely poor quality. Then-Mayor Rick Kaysen likewise warned the public after a couple of major hail storms in 2011 that con artists had been reported in the area trying to separate homeowners from their money by performing substandard work--or no work at all.

There have been similar occurrences over the years following storms in the area.

So how can you protect yourself? Doing business with a contractor who is established in the community is probably always a good first step. But anyone performing roofing or other repair work should have a contractor's license issued by the City of Cheyenne.

City code says "Contractors must display their license number on all advertising, contracts, and bids."

You can ask to see the license, or if you are in doubt call the Cheyenne Compliance Department at (307) 637-6265. Or you can check the status of a prospective contractor online

Beyond that, AARP Wyoming says

''It’s safest to only trust contractors that you proactively reach out to. Also, regardless of who you are talking to, get written estimates and compare bids from multiple contractors before starting any work.  Finally, pay no more than a third of the total cost prior to the work beginning – and then only when materials arrive. "

And while such con artists by no means only victimize senior citizens, the AARP says some will go after older folks who they believe may be easier victims.

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